French politics

“Le pouvoir” (or the Elysée told by Hollande)


“You’ve never been closer”, “Le pouvoir” by Patrick Rotman

Let’s talk about cinema (in relation with politics, of course)

Recently, I went and watched “Le Pouvoir” (Power), a Patrick Rotman documentary focused on the first seven months of François Hollande’s five-year-mandate, filmed everyday in the Palais de l’Elysée and also during his official trips in France as abroad (for example during a the UN General Assembly in New-York City on the last September or the European Council in Brussels just after his election on May 2012)

It was a very interesting documentary in which the director films the Elysée in intimacy and the French President, conductor and master of the venue. François Hollande is still the same and even does not hesitate to say some funny declarations tackling for instance some of his predecessors without naming them as Jacques Chirac or Nicolas Sarkozy.

Patrick Rotman is a famous French director who, several times, made biographic films about contemporary political leaders as former presidents François Mitterrand, Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy or other personalities as Lionel Jospin. Nonetheless, “Le Pouvoir” is different insofar as it is rather focused on François Hollande dealing with his life of president and his relation to power and the authority he represents. The exercise may be formal or quite conventional but the accent mainly stressed on the behaviour of Hollande and his relation to power he finally got and is learning to dominate.

A documentary in which the monarchic aspect of the French presidential power is well present with a quite heavy protocol and a very special atmosphere within the Elysee, a venue of power before all. A venue, you can be surprised and dazzled and you can be out the reality because of it.

“Le Pouvoir” is a documentary in which François Hollande wants to prove he embodies permanently the authority of the French Republic, and it begins from the Elysée. This is an interesting and habile work of political communication, even if it is quite controlled, as we can imagine. But rather being indulgent with Hollande, at the moment he is still unpopular, Rotman just wants to film a President in action, faced with the responsibilities he wished, just a year ago.

So, If you are currently in Paris or anywhere in France, go and watch this very interesting documentary. And here, the preview (in French) of the Patrick Rotman film. Enjoy